The Yoga Show with Kira & Friends Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 4

Summer Bliss with Melina

60 min - Practice


Stay cool with this blissful self-care practice designed just for the summer months. Move slowly and dynamically through seated stretches to find space in the body, core work to strengthen and create heat, standing poses to access playfulness and creativity, balancing postures to stay focused and centered, and cooling forward folds and breathing practices. You will feel strong, calm, and cool in the heat of summer.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi there, friends. It's so good to see you. Welcome to the live yoga show. It's June 5th. It's the anniversary of the Buddha's death. And the rumor is that anything we do today, whether it's quote unquote negative or positive, is amplified by 10 million times. So pay close attention. Protests are happening around our country, America, and also around the world. Black lives matter. This has always been true, but suddenly we all seem to be really paying attention. And we have a really wonderful opportunity this morning. We're going to go to Oakland to practice with our good friend, Melina Meza. Let's go there now. Thank you so much for having me today. It's a pleasure to be here with you all. It's really special, Melina. Thank you so much. You know, we've had the opportunity to talk back and forth a little bit, and I'm hoping you feel comfortable this morning sharing a bit about yourself. Your father is Mexican, your mother is white, and wondering if you feel safe sharing your first memory of racism. Yeah, thanks for the opportunity to share. I was thinking that one of the times that stands out is when I moved from little town of Pacific Grove where I was raised to the town of Seaside when I was in seventh, eighth grade transition. And we, my brother and I started taking the public transportation bus to go to school in the mornings. And we were exposed to a lot of different kinds of people as we were in a much more working class neighborhood at that phase. And so I was struck by how differently the bus driver treated kids that were coming from the poorer neighborhoods, darker color skin people versus how he treated or they treated people who were more white. And even within the bus and the kids and kids, of course, can just be cruel and whatnot. But there was also a lot of racism between the different classes that were on the bus. And I quickly realized that it was I would feel safer if I was more invisible. And at that point, I'd realized that being Mexican was something that I might not want to say out loud, to not be kind of teased and harassed in the way that some of the people who were slightly darker skinned and myself were harassed on the bus. So that was one of the strong memories. Oh, wow, that's a really powerful story, Melina. And, you know, from that, from that place of essentially wanting to not be seen not being invisible. How, how did that meet when you and the yoga practice meet? How has that how has that want to be not seen and the yoga practice worked together to where you find yourself now? Well, I think the interesting thing is that one of the many gifts of yoga has been bringing more parts of myself to the light. And I know that might sound kind of corny, but it really feels like more of myself has really become clear through the practice of yoga.

And through my goodness, through that ability to accept myself, and really be proud of who I am. And I was beautiful with the yoga is to be more aware of what's going on in my mind. So I have more choice how I respond on a day to day basis to challenges. And that's one of the greatest gifts so that as I'm more aware of my mind, and my mind state that I'm aware that as I move forward, I'm not creating future harm. And being more compassionate, really, yeah, it's another one of the overall big takes away take away from the yoga practice for me. That these little self care steps really helped me cope with stress a little bit better. And, and hopefully I'm better able than to contribute and make a difference in this world when I'm taking good care of myself. Oh, wow. And you really are a bright, beautiful light, Melina. And you have, we have a really exciting event coming up with you our five day summer Ayurvedic challenge, which is all about self care and reducing that heat and, and you've really leave some loving kindness meditation into it. I hope you don't mind, we'd love to queue up the commercial right now. So people watching know what it's about. It's going to be happening June 22, through 26. Let's take a look. Welcome to our live five day Ayurveda summer challenge on yoga anytime. I'm Melina Mesa. Together, we'll move through five one hour dynamic and playful sequences designed to bring relief to the summer heat, reduce inflammation and cool and nourish your whole system. We weave together Asana loving kindness meditation, Ayurveda self care rituals and routines to promote a calm and balanced energy. Tap into the cool fluid wellspring within and you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I hope you can join us. Wow, I cannot wait for that challenge, Melina. And tell us what we're going to be doing today. Yeah, today we're going to do some supine warmups just to get the breath connected to our movements and opening up our front body, upper corners of the chest. Before we do some seated work, that's a little more targeted joint mobilization. And then we'll shift into a little core section to get some strength and some heat going before we do some standing work. That's also for strength, but also to bring a little playfulness into our summer practice before we come back down to sitting and getting ready to unwind and prepare for the more meditative state of the practice at the end.

Oh my God, that sounds amazing. So now would be a great time to turn on that second camera so we can spotlight you. And I'm just going to check in with my team to make sure that we are seeing you from that main camera. Well, Julia or Nicole, there we are. Okay, take it away, Melina. We can't wait to see you at the live challenge. Have a great practice today. Thank you. So everybody, if you haven't grabbed a blanket already, please grab a blanket or a towel, whatever you're going to use today. And it's so nice to see a whole bunch of your names out there as I was getting set up. Welcome from the north and the south and east and the west everywhere. So if you make a roll blanket, if your back is more sensitive to back bending, make a really small roll. If you have a smaller blanket, you might roll it all the way. And if we come down onto your back and with bent legs, grab a hold of your blanket and slide it so it might end up under the bottom of your shoulder blades, tip of the shoulder blades. So when you roll back to the floor and adjust it so it's more or less under the back of your chest. And then let your arms when you're set with your blanket open out wide, like from the ceiling view to be kind of in an X shape. And then if it feels okay for your lower back, let's go to stretch your legs out and the legs are about as wide as your yoga mat. So there aren't here in a huge X shape.

And then do some wiggling around to make sure that you feel like you're in good spots. And oftentimes when you know you're in a good spot, maybe you feel a little bit more safe now at home in your in your own room. Perhaps you close the eyes or just let them rest. Decreasing that external stimulation so that we can become a little bit more aware of the feeling tone in our physical body right now. After sitting for a few minutes and just taking it in again, just some information that's not always comfortable or easy to hear. I'd like you just to start to shift to your own body and acknowledging this time you've created for yourself for some self-care.

And let's make the most of that as we start to take maybe slightly fuller inhales, but I'd like you to pay a little more attention to your exhale, which might be through your nose or your mouth, that you're all home and muted. So if you like making the sign sounds as you exhale, to give yourself permission to make some sounds as you exhale. And the idea is we move into those slightly longer exhales. Oftentimes we decrease some stress, anxiety, we might be able to shift into that more parasympathetic nervous system, the rest in digest mode. And perhaps at the end of the exhale, we just discover a little bit more of the present moments. Noticing again the feeling of that pause and how that pulls the senses inward, pulls the mind inward to appreciate maybe a little bit more freshly this moment. On top of all the auspicious things happening today that Kira mentioned, it also happens to be a full moon day. Oh my goodness. So what sort of feeling tone do we notice in the hearts? It's stronger today.

Okay, maybe take three more cycles of breath and really focus on letting the exhale get a little bit longer without any force or aggression. So it means it's without any tightness or force, it means your eyes stay relaxed in your face. Okay, when you're ready, I'm going to have you slide your arms closer in towards your ears and then bring your legs like Tadasana legs. So your legs are joined together, ankles flexed, maybe you catch the opposite thumb and start to stretch longer from your fingers to your heels. Then a big full belly breath in, let your diaphragm, lower abdomen area expand and then exhale, maybe through your mouth, all the air out, right at the end of the exhale, if you pause for a moment and try to invite your navel to move a little further down towards the spine. You feel like your diaphragm is hugging the bottom of the lungs. Uddiyana Bandha, relax the belly as you breathe in and then focus as you exhale all the air out, that slight pause, relaxing muscular tension, navel in, you feel that upward pressure moving from lower lungs to upper lungs. Let's do two more, belly relaxed on in-breath, belly moving in toward the back on exhale. Take a short pause, dive a little deeper into that quiet space. Last one, trying that Uddiyana Bandha as the abdominal area drops in towards the back, sense of expansion across the diaphragm muscle. All right then let your arms when you're ready come down to your side, bend your legs and turn over to your right side. Come on up to get rid of that blanket if you've got it. We're going to make it into more of a square shape so it'd be more like a pillow for you. Okay so you might need to fold it more than once. I'm going to have you roll over onto your right side and have your legs about 90 degree angles with your arms straight out from your shoulder collarbone line. We're going to try to keep the legs from moving as we let this left hand slide towards the top of your mat, arm is right above your ear for a moment and then let that left hand reach over to the side to the left so you end up drawing a half circle. Maybe you look towards the left then follow your left hand right back over to your right hand and again inhale left hand reaches over to the left you're drawing the 180 degree line or circle come back around to the right. Let's do two more stretching that left arm is far over to the left as your left chest appreciates. Back to center. Last time inhaling all the way through the movement. Let's come back to center. All right now last time when we take the arm over we're going to let that left arm hover above the floor. Let the shoulder hover above the floor at some angle that feels interesting for you to get a deeper stretch into your left bicep or upper chest. If you have an injury in that left shoulder you can bend your your arm so your fingertips rest by your left collarbone and sometimes decrease any strain if you've got a rotator cuff injury. One more moment hovering left shoulder above the floor.

Take your arms down to your side roll onto your back and keep your arms glued to the floor at your side as you tip your knees in towards your chest. You know while looking towards the ceiling let your knees stay together but make some circles and that little massage for the lower back but also an opportunity to engage some of those abdominal muscles going around and around. Let's go the opposite direction. The circles can be small and still be really effective or maybe you're exploring slightly fuller motion of your legs reaching a little closer to the far end of your mat. Let's come back around to center. Right now if you turn over to your left sides and stack your arms again out from your shoulder line legs bent at 90 degrees. When you're set up right arm is going to stretch towards the top of your mat so the arm is above your ear and then keep going reach out to the right and then right hand swings all back over to the left and see as you go through that several more times if you have a little bit more mobility through the neck this has become easier to look to the right and if it doesn't please just keep looking to the ceiling and you're looking for that pain-free pathway. Okay it's just a loving kindness practice for a whole hour. Okay now as we let that right arm travel over to the right now we might let it hover above the floor. Maybe it's suitable to look to the ceiling for you or maybe you look towards your right fingertips and if there's an injury in that right shoulder maybe you modify with the right fingertips by the upper left corner of your chest. Let's see if you can find some area that gives you a little bit more stretch and space in your right upper corner of your chest.

And let's lower your arms down to your side and come on to your back again. Now take your blanket that might be under your head and slide it out of the way and have you stretch your arms straight back towards your ears keep your legs bent feet on the ground. Okay now let's separate the feet a little wider than your maybe hip distance maybe shoulder distance. Press into your feet everybody lift your hips up and kind of discover how high to come up for that first shape of bridge might be lower it might be higher than what I'm showing. Now let's take just your right arm down with your spine and eventually look over your right shoulder so that left side of the neck gets a little stretch. Press into your feet lift your hips and swing your right arm all the way back by your ear. Now just the left arm lowers with your spine we look over the left shoulder let that right neck area stretch. Press into your feet again inhale lift your hips and both arms are back. One more time just the right arm comes down with your spine look over your right shoulder lift your hips right arm flows back towards your ear and then just the left arm comes down and you look over your left shoulder. Keep your buttocks and spine down as you swing your left arm back by your ear. Separate your feet as wide as your yoga mat and let's do a little windshield wiper leg dropping to the right action come through center and then legs dropping over to the left. Tip back to center now move your feet one inch forwards wherever they were and try again tipping to the right come through center and then again let's tip over to the left and then come back to center and maybe your feet one inch more forward see if that's interesting to do. One more to the sides each side. All right let's grab the knees with your hands and as you pull them in either rock and roll forward and back or roll to your side and now let's come up towards sitting. I'm going to take that little blanket square and have that to sit on so that it's a little bit easier for the knees to drop down towards the floor and you might take a different kind of height whatever works for you so the knees are dropping a little bit lower than the hips. Okay I'm going to take your fingertips behind you root your fingertips down into the floor as you lift up through your waist and side chest. Okay so it's almost like you're creating a backbend through the upper body. Please turn your nose to the right and as you turn your nose to the right can you press into your left fingertips a little bit more and maybe change the angle of your chin your head to get a little deeper stretch in that left side of your neck so much that you might be willing to drop your lower jaw away from your upper palate. Tip back up turn your nose please to your left and try to press deeper into your right fingertips as you're turning your nose to the left and if you feel satisfied with that stretch you stay here or tip your head a little bit back or down. Let your lower jaw release from upper palate. Big breath in big breath out. Let's tip back up to center and now bring your fingertips right up to the upper corners of your chest. They feel incomplete without these shoulder movements for me these days so I just want to kind of show you again a little sequence that we might do regularly to decrease some of that stress and tension we carry in the shoulders and upper back by bringing those elbows up and forwards. Okay now let's go the opposite direction a few times going up and back feeling how does this ball and socket joint moving this morning. All right now let's have the arms stretch straight up in the air above you as high as you can reach the arms beside the ears perhaps tip to your right side and when you walk your hands away from your hip take your left hand down towards the right side of your heads and invite the head to drop a little bit towards your right arm to see if that opens a little bit more into your left side chest those muscles of the ribs.

Right after checking into that left waist now let's take the left arm down lower than your shoulder line fingers stretch away from the ears you turn your chin and your nose again to the right try to encourage that lower jaw here to relax from upper palate maybe even your eyes close and feel the left fingers reaching away from your ear. Let's slide the right hand back in towards your yoga mats sorry towards your hip of course you're on your yoga mat make a few little rolls now swing your arms forward and up tip over to your left side and as you slide your left hand out as far as you like right hand comes down to catch the left side of your head and then consciously drop your head a little bit more towards your left arm bone see what changes in the right side of your chest and sometimes it's helpful to close your eyes so that you might feel what's actually happening more and as you feel what's happening more here through the side chest keep your head tilted to the left but lower your right arm down lower than the collarbone shoulder line and then turn your chin and your nose to the left and feel into that right side of your neck maybe the lower jaw releases from upper palate and let's go ahead and tip on back up to center all right let's have the hands release behind you and please send your feet in front of you and we call that maybe cobbler's pose so if you bring the bottoms of the feet to touch knees are wide reach arms up in front of you as you inhale now take a turn towards your right leg let your left hand catch the knee reach your right fingertips behind you and rather than pull yourself into the twist simply elongate your spine can you feel that your head is right above the center of your pelvis and then slightly soften and bend your elbows to imagine the upper chest collarbones become wider and more spacious you can we feel we're turning from the waist let's raise your arms back up turn yourself over towards your other leg that's your left leg right hand catches the knee left fingertips on the floor and try to resist the idea of pulling into the twist and just elongate your spine try to feel into each part of the spine lumbar spine thoracic spine cervical spine slightly bend your elbows and notice how that changes the shape as you bend your elbows and can you try to breathe down into your waist bottom of the lungs turn back to that forward direction and now as you hold on to your shins lift your chest up like you're doing a little mini backbend send your elbows out towards your knees and then maybe we look down the tip of the nose as we feel is there movement in the pelvis forward is this a appropriate place to relax the gaze and focus inwards big breaths where we feel body might be tight practicing good self-care knowing the right amount of efforts and if the body is giving you that green light to go further walk your fingertips a little forwards and continue to let the face drop down a little bit towards your feet one more moment just noticing how we feel through the hips here that forward folds that does not involve your hamstrings let's walk the hands back in whatever you might be sitting on move that out of the way so that you can have your hands behind you and we're going to have that knees parallel and your hands are behind you leaning a little bit back so you can windshield your legs over to the right come back to center and then windshield wipe your legs over to the left and we'll do that again to the right rolling over those outer hips buttock area hopefully giving that area a little massage now stay rolled over to your right it's probably the trickiest pose we're going to do today let your left hand come over behind you and now your right hand is behind you we're going to drop that right forearm and hand down that's your new pillow as your left arm reaches away from left shoulder as you drop your head onto your right forearm so legs are in those 90 degree angles we're ideally getting that wonderful stretch down that left side of your back could be behind your shoulder blade could be all the way down into that left lower back or waist maybe even some of you get more of that stretch into the front of that left thigh area so many good places to check into just one more moment with the chest facing the ground slide your left hand back in under your shoulder leg come up and hopefully the second side's easier and the sense of what we're doing we go to the windshield wiper legs to the left take that right hand behind you so it supports you and then you bring the left arm in and the right arm goes straight and we drop our foreheads to our left forearm or hands they're stretching nice and long for your right arm this isn't one of our ancient yoga poses so there's no way to do it right or wrong just try to figure out a way that helps you stretch that right side of your shoulder mid-back lower back back just facing the floor one more breath in slide that right hand under your shoulder line press all the way up thanks for trying that with me and as you sit back to center we're going to roll towards your yoga mat and come to our tabletop okay so i'm on a hardwood floor i'm going to grab my blanket so i've got a little bit of cushion underneath my knees okay so when i have that cushion under my knees eventually hands will be in front of the blankets knees on the blanket and just a couple little circles wagging the tail circle tailbone sacrum bottom of the rib cage shoulders just to make it a little easier to move in your body all right now if we come a little bit now to tabletop position and then stretch your left leg to the back of your mat your toes touch the floor and then take your right leg so you end up in plank pose let's go straight back bring your left knee back to the blanket right knee to the blanket left leg goes back straight right leg goes back straight plank pose so we can keep alternating knees down and then legs straight to plank or stay in plank and bring your left knee to your left elbow and the leg goes straight right knee to the right elbow and the left right leg goes straight knee to elbow knee to elbow and trying to keep pressing your hands into the floor keep the spread between your shoulder blades you're going to do a few more starting to do the core heat building part of class knee to elbow or alternating knee down into plank okay now let's go ahead and bring both knees down for everybody put your elbows down where your hands were and bring your palms together into that prayer pose now with your knees a little bit closer together take that left leg straight back behind you then raise your left leg and your left heel higher than the height of the pelvis okay so you want to feel your left gluteus turned on now bring your left knee to your nose and round your back stretch that left leg again higher than the height of the pelvis long neck as you look forward left knee to the nose round stretch that leg up and back knee to the nose remember the neck is part of the spine you're lengthening so try not to crunch up your neck as you look forward knee to nose and next time that left leg is up in the air firm all those muscles of that left leg to the bones of that left leg and then drop the left toes to the floor take your right leg back and come into a forearm plank which means we lower the pelvis potentially and you might play around and go too low or lift too high so you discover for yourself freshly what's the middle ground with that place that feels closest to mountain pose and then pause for a moment let's turn on the heat one more moment rooting down evenly through your forearms and elbows nice long neck now let's slide the left knee to the blanket repress through the elbows as you float your right leg up higher than the height of your pelvis nice long neck then bring your knee into your nose round your back stretch that right leg up bring your knee to your nose area and stretch right leg up look a little forward knee to nose and kicking that leg up till you feel that right glute turn on last one knee to nose then when you take that right leg up hold squeeze all of those muscles of that right leg to the bones of the right leg so when the right leg drops down that leg is strong let that left leg go back and match the right leg and i'm going to move my padding out from underneath my pelvis but you might want to keep it there as you lower yourself to the floor so bend your knees toes point to the ceiling will slide the hands right beside your chest and i call this the surfing cobra so imagine you're looking down to the front of your board with your legs bent and then we're going to go to straight legs and lower the forehead down let's again come to our surfing cobra bend your legs lift your gaze to the front of your mat without crunching up your neck lower down so two more bend your legs look to the front of your mat or tip of your nose lower down last one bend your legs lift your head okay now as you lower down slide your arms straight out in front of you now imagine like we're going to do a little swimming action so we're going to lift our arms and legs and as your arms go out to the side elbows go out to the side legs go wide let's bring the legs forward and arms again parallel float up legs wide arms at 90 degrees curling chest up legs together arms forwards legs wide arms 90 degree angles chest curls up up legs parallel arms parallel one more curling up legs wide arms 90 degrees and then let yourself settle for a moment on the floor you weight your forehead down wiggle your hips left to right release any tension might have gathered here next please fold your right hand in under your foreheads bend your left leg and reach your left hand back for those of you that can catch your left foot squeeze your heel towards your left buttock if that's not quite accessible for you some will find it accessible with your right arm straight and if you tipped over onto your right side can you stretch your quadriceps more easily here and if it's not in the cards for you today know that this too shall pass in just a few moments you can keep the knee bent heel ankle flexed ankle flex and strengthen versus stretch one more moment and we'll go ahead and release that left side left arm forward bend your right leg and see if you have access to reach for your right foot you might pull your left hand in as a little pillow to rest your forehead on as you squeeze your right heel towards your right buttock maybe in the summer we need a little more quadriceps stretching after biking and hiking and more outside activity so maybe visit this each time every day a little bit maybe you roll to your left side that gives you more access to squeeze your heel towards your buttock one more moment then let's go ahead and release the back foot draw your hands underneath your shoulder line and then press up to your tabletop curl your toes under and then walk your hands maybe a handprint forward okay so we look forward on the in breath arching and then maybe an audible or lion's breath as you exhale it could stretch the tongue out stretch those muscles of the face as you come into your downward dog on the ball of your foot to intentions keep the heels up up knees back down inhale look forward widen chest audible exhale or lion's breath as you exhale all the air out one more time knees down look forward on inhale lion's breath on your exhale all the air out now let's walk your feet towards the back of your wrist and set yourself up which might be a high squat or medium squat with your toes turned out a few degrees as you come towards the top of the mat can you bring your hands in front of your chest so you're really aware of being in your legs and then we'll do a little something i love doing more in the summer separate my hands bring my palms right over my eyes to block out the light to relax my eyes and then drop my face towards the floor as if i'm sitting at the river and i've just scooped up some water and i'm holding that cold water over my eyes i just feel let the legs again start to engage let the legs hold you as we squat all right we'll drop the arms down then reach in front of you let the legs take you up to stand legs take you up all right now when we're a bit of an x shape let your legs separate shoulder distance arms up to this side we're going to step your left leg behind your right leg and once your legs straighten here bring your arms right up to your ears turn your palms to face each other and start to lean over to your right side as you exhale press your front leg into your back leg let's come back into your x shape separate your feet find your balance right leg goes behind your left leg arms come way up by your ears turn your palms towards each other squeeze your arms towards your head and lean over to your left sides let's come on back to center come into your high goddess pose highest squats all right so as you come into that exhale shape here many of you have done this one now from here today we're going to stretch your legs straight arms straight look up and then as you exhale look straight ahead and lower both arms right down in front of you so it's a little bit more playful movement some things i've learned from some friends who do this edu system let the left arm come up i'm going to turn the torso to the left without changing your legs left arm down in front right arm up by your ear turn your torso to the right and then your right arm down okay so we end up going a little faster left arm up and then down right arm up and then down and you can do as quickly or as slowly as you like i'm just going to keep alternating right arm left arm and notice how you're moving these joints of your spine while cultivating some of the strength and stability in your legs and hips so you learn to turn from the waist you learn to use those joints of your spine open up the lungs all good things okay one more here then let's go ahead and pull your elbows in towards your waist like now you're holding a couple of trays now take your left arm and sweep it over to the right like you're clearing your windshields left elbow in right arm reaches out you're clearing your your vision uh with the right hand left arm sweeps out in front of you pull your elbow in right arm sweeps out in front of you follow your moving hand with your eyes your hand is moving out at your eye level keeping good posture and kind of a little more like a tai chi like move feel that stretch to the upper mid back working all those joints more in the upper body as your eyes follow that moving hand let's bring our elbows back in just a little side to side movements without moving your legs turn from the waist side to side hopefully your legs are starting to feel warm now let's grab a hold of the kneecaps with the hands tilt a little forward move your hips back and press your left knee to the left as you turn to look over the right shoulder come around to your center and press your right knee out as you look over your left shoulder come back to center put your fingertips on the floor slide your heels wider toes face straight ahead and then walk your fingertips fingertips out as you lower your head between your arms my day's never complete without this pose to stretch the laying side body shoulders can you find a way here to ground your feet and let your hips feel like they're slightly sliding back away from your shoulders welcoming that cooling forward bend the head lower than the heart where we're not working the upper body quite as much as a more traditional downward dog with the legs this wide take one more breath up then let's walk the hands in more under your shoulder line heel toe your legs and feet a little bit closer together and then come up the best way for you to stand all the way up let's bring the legs in heel toe heel toe till your feet are more or less underneath your hips let's slide the hands up to the sides of the waist and shift your weight over to your right side as you lift your left knee up all right and we're going to move in a few circles while we try to keep shoulders neutral just trying to move this left leg as we move that left leg a few times let's pause now and create external rotation of your left thigh expose that inner heel to the ceiling and then go ahead and take your right arm up towards your ear reach for the ceiling either stay here or grab a hold of your big toe with your first two fingers and then stand up a little taller as you press more into your right foot reach up press your right thigh your right femur slightly back let's go ahead and release hold your hips left foot down transfer your weights and notice what's different when your right knee comes up we'll make a few circles in case we find ourselves sitting a lot it's nice to take these breaks to move this ball and socket joints let's create our external rotation take your left arm up towards your ear and then reach higher up as you root your left foot or consider grabbing the big toe and then trying to stand a little taller while you hold the big toe reach up press down big breath in and out all right let's release both feet down to the floor hold onto your hips feel your weight shift to your right side bend both knees a little bit and we're going to hang your left ankle the figure four shape to the top of that right thigh okay now bend your right ankle just a tiny bit more find a focal point for your eyes and let your arms go really wide kind of use the arms going wide to help your back feel really wide and spacious okay so i'm going to turn sideways so maybe it's a little easier to see so as we sit maybe a little bit back maybe you're perfect where you are we'll swing the arms back behind us as we tip a little forward let your palms squeeze an invisible giant block behind you and take your torso back up arms wide try to rebalance swing your arms one more time behind you like you're squeezing a giant block as your chest drops towards your left shin balance will come and go that's part of the program arms go up and wide straighten your right leg and put your left foot down okay arms at your side okay let's slide back up to your hips shift your weight over to your left foot bend your right leg and let that ankle hang over the knee tune into your left ankle bending and see if your arms can help you balance as you look straight ahead the hips slightly back either stay here or let your arms swing back squeeze that giant invisible block as you lean forward carefully swinging your arms up to look again straight ahead balance will come and go even for me and then going back sometimes i think people think the teacher never gets wobbly the teacher definitely gets wobbly and then we come all the way back up leave your arms up both feet on the ground toes turned out a few degrees come back down into that squat imagine you've got that cool water in your palms and then let your face drop down towards the floor imagine you're right over a river and you've just scooped some cool water up towards your face take one more moment appreciating that now let's go ahead and let your hands come back behind you and then have a seat now as you have a seat here let's go ahead and use your hands behind you again so that take some of the pressure that's going to maybe exist on your hip or knee as you hang let's say your left foot the outside of that right knee okay so it's that figure four shape again walk your hands a little bit closer maybe to your hips and we're going to take your right foot and bring it over to the left so that you can bring your left foot to the floor okay like you're going to do what we would call arda matsyandrasana or legs both heels moving further back okay so i'm going to have you take your right hand to the right for a moment and reach your left arm over to the right then take your left hand down to the floor and take your right arm up and over to the right to the left come back to center now leave your hands a little bit behind you adjust the angle of your feet so that you might lean now a little bit forward with your chest area open as you're coming forwards okay let's lean on back and when you lean back feet hip distance apart hands facing forward towards your heels we're going to keep the elbows bent and we're going to do like a little push up for your tricep we're going to lift off the floor just so you have straight arms and then bend your elbows squeeze them in as if you had a big block between your elbows and then push up till you have straight arms bend your elbows your chest is open and then press your hips off the floor you have straight arms elbows bend elbows squeeze in one more time push up and then we come on down okay let's go to our second side maybe you lean back a little bit more to cross your right ankle over your left knee maybe we'll walk the hands in a couple steps kick this left right left leg over to the right so this right knee is on top the feet could be asymmetrical here or more aligned with your hips whatever's better for you let's start with your left hand on the floor take your right arm up and over to the left we'll take that right hand down and then take your left arm up and over to the right now when your arms come down sweep them a little bit behind you so your chest stays more open adjust the angle of your feet further away from your hips or closer to your hips as you lean a little forward and we're trying to move from the hips not so much from dropping your waist chest is lifting almost like you're doing a little baby backbend all right let's come on back and let yourself lean back keep those elbows bent as you uncross your legs keep your feet floating up about as high as your knees okay now look up towards your toes and then we're going to let the arms reach out in front of us and then we're going to play with a little bit of what I call tipping boats so we're going to rock over to the left sit bone with your arms to the right rock over to your right sit bone with your arms going to the left okay this is more realistic right boats are kind of tippy so go to the left buttock arms to the right go to the right buttock and arms to the left and you don't need to move fast right for that to be beneficial can you explore again moving through your tipping boat shape right to left maybe even massage something those outer glute muscles now we're going to end up coming back down feet to the floor I know you're so sad about that right come down onto your back and as you come down onto your back let's go ahead from here and cross as we've been doing for many shapes your right ankle over the left knee for that thread the needle like pose now from here if you'll just for a moment let your arms be open out to your side so we're going to do a hands-free practice where we tilt your left thigh in towards your belly and chest the left foot comes off the floor then bring that left foot back to touch the ground tip your left thigh back in towards your chest come back left foot touches the floor left thigh tips in towards your chest and it goes back down let's keep your thigh tipped in towards your chest and we're going to tip over to the left side and when you tip over keeping your figure four legs hold on to your right knee as you're twisting to the left right arm is out to the side eventually your right foot might end up on the floor and if you grab your right knee you might push it away from you as you look out to your right hand does that open up for you in a good way that right side of the waist the lower back area the outer hip change the angle of the right arm if it's not right for you again micro adjustment so that you're getting some benefit from that pose could be different for you but with this for me slide that right arm down keep your figure four legs as you tip on back to center now when you tip this left thigh in one last time stretch your left leg up into the air and maybe you reach up towards your calf or towards your ankle area and let your lower back lift as your elbows go wide out to the side if that's too intense we release the lifting of the left leg and try the variation with the bent knee which one feels more interesting today going up higher lifting lower back elbows wide or does it feel better having your back closer to the floor let's release that left leg and then put both feet on the ground let your arms be really wide so we're doing hands-free version here of this figure four and now let's try your second side left ankle on top of that right leg tilt your right thigh in towards your chest so your foot's off the floor bring your right foot back to the floor tip your right thigh in towards your chest as far as it feels comfortable and release right foot to the ground tip back in and hopefully without using your hands you can feel there's some interesting areas in that left hip that maybe you're a little bit tight if you've been hiking or biking more now let's stay tipped in with that right thigh arms are really wide we're going to tip over to the right side in that figure four and eventually your left foot touches the ground my right hand's going to grab the right knee and for me i like pushing my knee away from my chest away from my shoulder as i look over towards my left hand you might find slightly different but you play around with what angle of that left leg brings you some joy some bliss into that left side of your body and you let your shoulder blades relax big breath in and big breath out release the left leg and arms are wide as you roll onto your back tip that right thigh one more time in towards your belly and chest and either reach forward to catch the back of that right leg or stretch your right leg straight and see if this side it makes sense to catch your calf reach up higher then we bend the elbows wide if you like that feeling of a deeper stretch for your hamstrings in your lower back and we're trying to move in a way again that doesn't create any future harm so what's the right amount of effort to put into the stretch let's take one more moment here now let's bend that right leg and put both knees above your belly area let's from here tip both feet up into the air reach up for the back of your legs and pull your legs slightly in towards your chest maybe you can reach around and grab the opposite elbow behind the legs maybe you slide your hands further towards your ankles and let that lower back take a little stretch like you're doing a forward bend on your back here shoulders relaxed you take one more deep breath like you're doing a really early version of plow pose or i like to see this as a forward bend on my back one more moment let's go ahead and release the legs down to the floor and if there's any last little cravings you have of movement we didn't do or you'd like to do again give yourself permission to wiggle around until you feel a little bit more prepared ready for shavasana could be grabbing extra layers extra props and it will take the time today to treat yourself to a little bit of this self-care the pose of shavasana where you're completely supported body close to the cool earth as we get closer to the summer heat the summer season where we might from time to time really benefit from making contact with the earth if it's your floor that you're on just tuning in to the coolness of the ground or maybe you're imagining that the earth that's underneath the foundation of your home this floor so to pace ourselves for the summer season again we try to do some movement that's strengthening because a lot of us likes that feeling of being strong keeping good posture core awareness but can we balance that with some of the yoga that's also gentle that's restorative that's meditative to cultivate more of that water element brings us closer to our intuition and keeps us close to the feeling in the heart on a regular basis so take a moment just to notice again how the body feels after almost an hour of movement so we maybe remember why we practice yoga uh take a moment maybe observing the state of the mind now after some moving practices that involve balance breath awareness invite you to stay with your breath awareness a little bit longer just breathing in maybe that little gentle smile that comes in from you taking the time to do some self-care today inner smile knowing that you care enough to treat yourself to some yoga now and then the state of the hearts what does that feel like now we're just aware as a witness to this body this elemental body softening into the elements outside our homes the nature around us really becoming part of this ecosystem if you're tending to the breath let yourself go back to that practice of pausing after exhale really invite you to feel the senses moving inwards observing what it feels like to be more present and then maybe we appreciate what that feels like and we choose to stay in that state of meditation we stay in these periods for longer times longer periods of time without distraction in the mind you can choose to keep coming back for more of that when waves of thought creep in and choose to set them aside and rest in that big blue sky spaciousness you give yourself a few more moments to absorb the support from the earth the ground and the others invested in doing the self-care practice together this morning from all around the world all around the country just feeling that support of the community and maybe start to make those small movements with maybe your eyes still closed or senses turn inward as you bend your legs and take your time rolling over to your side eventually working your way back up to sitting and maybe you reclaim some of the props that were helpful for you to sit and i'd like you to sit in a way again that supports you could if you're back against the wall it could be sitting in a chair whatever you have access to try to align your anatomical body so that your muscles are relaxed and it actually feels easy to breathe so the body is not stiff or rigid like a statue the body moves as we breathe and then one last little cooling practice that i hope you use as we get into the warmer temperatures with your right hand up towards your face and you can curl your index middle finger into your palm we're just going to use your thumb to block your right nostril and maybe with your eyes closed sit tall and we'll try for about a minute breathing in through that left nostril only and exhaling through that left nostril breathing in through that left nostril i often think in the beginning it's like you're we've got a garden hose and you're breathing and with the garden hose fully open that's your nostril and then we refine the practice where we take in a little bit smaller amounts of air we're not hurrying or rushing and we let that garden hose kind of get smaller more narrow we're kind of slowing the breath down it's more refined and breathing in through that left side is meant to cool us down our mind our core temperature so when the days are hot or you feel that there's a lot of inflammation in the mind a lot of agitation might try maybe a minute of breathing through your left nostril now let the hands gather in front of the heart center for a moment and as we come towards the end of the practice just want to send that loving kindness out towards each and every one of you today all the members of our families our communities people all around the world may we be safe may we be healthy may we be free namaste


Elissa P
1 person likes this.
Excellent Melina. I did this one live, and then did it again a month later. Thank you so much for being here. 
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
An hour of loving kindness = what everyone needs right now ❤️ loved this, love all your practices Melina, with their soothing and dynamic movements combined with practical advice. PS to Kira: thank you for the intros to the guest yogis in these series. Your conversations really bring us viewers into a more intimate relationship with our teachers for the forthcoming practices. LOVE it 😍
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
I appreciate you both and am grateful for your continued support. (insert heart here!)
Michelle F
2 people like this.
What lovely lassies! ----what a blissful session. As i sat so peacefully at the end, for some reason I "heard" Doris Day sing ----"que sera sera whatever will be will be, the futures not ours to see, que sera sera" It actually made me burst out laughing!
Thank you Melina - though it isnt full moon today , I think this could be a go to practice for the next full moon
Have a beautiful day!
Melina Meza
Michelle ~ Thank you for your sweet note, made me smile thinking of you over there singing! I hope you return to this practice again and have the same results! Take care and stay healthy!
Rosanna S
1 person likes this.
This was such a great practice for this Saturday morning after a tough week of working on video calls and in California with all the heat, fires, and smoke. I feel more stable, grounded, calm, and cool. Thank you!
Sandra Židan
Thank you very much, Melina, for this beautiful practice! It was a pleasure for me to do yoga with you! Kind regards!
David G-
1 person likes this.
Melina: I thought all week about your comment about the ashtanga men doing gymnastic back cracks. I used this practice after doing Lydia's new primary series Ashtanga (her digital studio). I also rode 60 miles. I answered your question: "how many times do you practice"? The answer came in as not enough. I beat my body up for years without this kind of self-care, not realizing I could gain larger fitness (and now yogic breadth) with this kind of movement. Pushing the leg away during the twist: game-changer!  Your deeply meditative and innovative practices feed my journey. Namaste and I hope you take some great pictures this weekend. PS: Your dining room table looks just like ours.  

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